Take a lovelorn turtle on a violent rampage across an entire continent? Consider us sold.
When you've got an armor-plated, melon pip-firing turtle, with an assortment of high-explosive and machine-gun armaments strapped onto it, you tend not to worry too much about the story of a game. You get the feeling that narrative progress and suspension of disbelief weren't high up on the list of Slick Entertainment's priorities during development, and if Shellrazer is the end result, then we'd like to see a little more of that approach.
Here's the deal, as far as we can work out. Your Shellrazer turtle is on a quest to find a lady-friend, except she's on the other side of the continent. The only way to play Cupid and bring these two love-turtles together is to take this most unlikely hero on a side-scrolling journey through rival clans, destroying aerial enemies, buildings, and ground-troops on the way to the object of his desires.
You have free rein to build your turtle of doom, and as you make progress through the game you'll acquire new allies to join the fight, from rocket-toting warriors who can rip through buildings, to more agile machine-gunners who are just perfect for sniping individual enemies whether in the air or on the ground.
As you make your way through each of the game's many & varied landscapes, you'll be rewarded with coins for killing enemies, blowing up buildings, and destroying the bountiful chests that have been left conveniently lying around. While these are all tied into an in-app purchase system, it's an extremely generous one, and there's so much replay value to be had from the game that you'll be happy to earn your way to victory.
So, as well as a disgusting array of weaponry to brandish around on the battlefield, Shellrazer is also packed to the nines with upgrades. You can either spend those coins on weapon upgrades that improve damage, add different armor and ammunition to your load-out, or just pick up a few snacks for your turtle that confer a devastating advantage on the battlefield. Feed him a slice of melon, for example, and he'll rattle out the pips into the invading hordes.
You'll likely come away from Shellrazer with a little of the same frustration that we felt after a lengthy session. The balancing is just ever so slightly off, and you can't help but feel that the game would have benefited from another round of refinement in this area. Regardless of difficulty mode, levels are a mixed bag of glorious destruction mixed with unlikely near-death experiences, and it's a difficultly level that spikes rather than curves. Not the end of the world, just rather jarring.
You'll also likely encounter a few frustratingly sticky situations with the controls. The two-handed control system, where you aim with one finger and fire with the other is by far the most precise, but the touch capture area of each weapon is rather stingy, and you may find yourself not firing at all at the very worst moment.
That aside, we can promise you that Shellrazer will give you an experience you've never had before on your mobile. A ridiculous, rollicking adventure that's clearly been an explosive labor of love for the developers, you'll get more than enough fun for your money from this refreshingly different title.
What's Hot: A wonderfully over-the-top title with some genuinely fresh and extremely enjoyable gameplay.
What's Not: You may struggle with the touchscreen controls at time, and the difficulty level is rather spiky.